Chevrolet will shortly debut their new Silverado pickup racer in the Best in the Desert racing series.
Chevy is already a big name in the Best in the Desert series thanks to the Colorado ZR2 racer. That's one of four pickups out of 434 to finish all 12 Best in the Desert races last year. This year, the ZR2 will be joined by its bigger brother, the Silverado, as it competes in the stock class for 6 Best in the Desert races.
The Silverado desert racer is based on the LT Trail Boss Crew Cab equipped with a 6.2-L V8 engine rated at 480 hp. The standard 10-speed automatic transmission directs power to all four wheels. Chevy enthusiasts will find this powertrain to be almost completely stock due to the 1200 Stock Class rules which limit what you can do to the chassis. Most of the obvious changes include racing safety equipment like a racing harness and catch rails on the front bumper.
That said, there are some alterations of the Silverado's suspension, which Chevy will use for engineering development and validation. The suspension has been given greater travel, new front and rear jounce shocks, new shock skids, and a set of prototype high-capacity Multimatic DSSV dampers. Those are similar dampers found in the Colorado ZR2 but modified for the Silverado's larger frame.
A set of 35-inch off-road tires and skid plates covering the transfer case, rear diff, and front underbody complete the Silverado racer's off-road upgrades.
“Off-road racing is just brutal on vehicles,” said Mark Dickens, chief engineer, Government Programs, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports, “and a single race puts more wear and tear on trucks than most vehicles will experience in years. That makes off-road racing a valuable testbed to evaluate new components. What we learn while racing informs everything from future performance parts and accessories to GM Defense projects and production vehicle changes.”
Chevy's Silverado racer will debut at the Laughlin Desert Classic later this month.